Zaheer Khan celebrated his 41st birthday on Monday with wishes pouring in on Twitter from his former teammates and current India cricketers. Among the well-wishers was Hardik Pandya, who in his birthday post tweeted a video of him hitting a six off the bowling Zaheer Khan. The India all-rounder, who recently underwent a lower back surgery, captioned the video: “Happy birthday Zak … Hope you smash it out of the park like I did here.” Soon the comments section was flooded by angry fans who slammed Hardik Pandya for being “disrespectful” and showing no “class”.
Here is Pandya’s birthday wish for Zaheer Khan that left fans fuming:
While many fans spoke of Zaheer Khan’s achievements and his contribution to Indian cricket, others directly attacked Pandya.
Former teammates like VVS Laxman and Shikhar Dhawan tweeted their birthday greetings for the left-arm pacer. “Happy Birthday @ImZaheer. Wishing you a wonderful day and the most amazing year Zak,” Laxman tweeted, referring to Zaheer Khan by his popular nickname.
“Happy birthday Zak Bhai! Have a fabulous year ahead with loads of happiness and good luck,” Dhawan wrote on the micro-blogging site.
Zaheer Khan played in 92 Tests and 200 ODIs for India and picked up 311 and 282 wickets respectively in the two formats.
He made his debut for India in an ODI against Kenya in Nairobi in October, 2000. He made his Test debut a month later. Since then, he went on to establish himself as one of India’s best ever left-arm pacers. Zaheer Khan was notorious for his ability to swing the ball.
He was part of the Indian team that won the World Cup in 2011. In the final against Sri Lanka, Zaheer Khan managed to pick up two wickets and bowl three maiden overs.
His last appearance for India was the Test match against New Zealand in Wellington in 2014.
Hardik Pandya, meanwhile, last featured in the three-match T20I series against South Africa where he aggravated his back injury.
He was not picked in the India squad for the ongoing three-Test series against the visiting South Africans.
Hardik Pandya is also set to miss the Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Bangladesh which will be played in India, starting November 3.